McKinnon and O’Dwyer — déjà vu all over again

Remember Gary McKinnon,  the UK hacker with Asperger’s syndrome  who penetrated American military computer systems in his search for  classified data on UFOs?

The US wants to extradite him.

His mother, Janis Sharp mother who seven years ago stood alone against the George Bush administration as it tried, and almost succeeded, to railroad the UK government into  sending her son for what would have been a mock trial in the US, told me:

“Gary was accused of hacking into the Pentagon more than seven years ago and the British High-Tech crime unit told him they had been monitoring his computers for six months and as he had caused no damage, he would be facing approximately six months community service.

“However the CPS [UK crown prosecutors] decided not to prosecute Gary as they said ‘it came from the very top that they were told to stand aside and allow America to take Gary.’

“Gary was indicted by the US in 2002 and told that he faced 60 years imprisonment =10years per count x 6.  It was from this day that our nightmare began.
“Gary told me after his arrest in March 2002  that when he did a simple scan for blank passwords that he was shocked to find that there were no passwords and no firewalls on thousands of machines.

“We have since discovered that this was the case not for weeks but for years on end.”

Now it’s déjà vu all over again  with  a British University student  Richard O’Dwyer, 24 (right), facing extradition  to the US  for allegedly breaking copyrights  by running a webpage   with links  to TV  and video  content.

UK home  secretary  to Theresa May  is supposed to be  soon making a decision  on whether or not  McKinnon  will be extradited  and meanwhile,

“O’Dwyer’s mother, Julia, and Conservative backbenchers, such as Dominic Raab, claim that his case, and those of McKinnon and the British businessman Christopher Tappin, all relate to actions committed on British soil.

“A recent Home Office freedom of information request shows that no American has ever been extradited to the UK for any equivalent “cross-border” case,”  continues the Guardian.

“This damning evidence highlights the lopsided nature of UK-US extradition arrangements,” Raab said.

“The US authorities have never let a US citizen be extradited to Britain for alleged crimes committed whilst on American soil. In cross-border cases, we need judges deciding the fairness of extradition according to clear criteria that cut both ways. Tinkering with prosecutors’ guidelines is not enough – decisions which affect the liberty of our citizens should be made in open court.”

The story goes on,  “The US claims such criticism is unfair. It says no one can be sent from Britain to the US to stand trial unless the charge is a crime in both countries and if British prosecutors believed the charges would be best tried in a UK court they could refuse the American extradition request. They also claim that Britain has refused seven extradition requests from the US, while the Americans have never refused a British one.

“So far, they say, there have been 130 extradition requests from Washington under the treaty. Of these, 73 have gone ahead, 50 are pending and seven have been refused. Britain has made 54 requests, and 38 have gone ahead so far.”

O’Dwyer’s  site is currently linked to a  cheesy, taxpayer-funded ICE anti-piracy video

ICE, (short for Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, has been having domains said to be involved in varying degrees of ‘piracy’ & porn closed for, and on behalf of, corporate interests, not the least of whom are: Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music; and, Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures.